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UNICEF provides school supplies and sport equipment to the displaced children from South Ossetia

TBILISI, Georgia, 19 August, 2004 - UNICEF has rushed emergency assistance in the form of school supplies and sporting equipment and is mobilizing volunteers to assist the several hundred children escaping the conflict in So. Ossetia.

Over 500 children and thousands of women began to flee from an outbreak of fighting between Georgian troops and separatists’ forces last week.

UNICEF has sent 35 school kits, 10 football kits, information materials for parents and social workers to the local government for further distribution to 970 displaced people currently being accommodated in nine sanatoriums and hotels of the region.

Supply and equipment provision are essential for helping children in overcoming stress and trauma occurred during the severe bombing of their villages in South Ossetia.

Young leaders mobilized by the Children’s Federation of Georgia are carrying out various recreational and stress-relief activities with the displaced children.

In collaboration with the national health authorities the displaced children will further receive MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) immunization during the weekend to prevent an outbreak of epidemics. UNICEF is also planning to provide vitamin A capsules, essential drugs and first aid kits to local ambulatories to ensure adequate stock of basic medical supplies. The emergency assistance also includes hygiene kits for the affected population of the region.

 UNICEF in cooperation with the World Food Programme and the United Nations High Commission on Refugees continues to undertake needs assessment of the displaced women and children being evacuated to other regions of Georgia. As of today, there are a total of 2,553 displaced women and children from South Ossetia relocated to various hotels and sanatoriums in six regions of Georgia.

School kits form a core part of UNICEF response in emergencies.  Each school kit will serve 40 students.  In addition to the basic school supplies such as exercise books, pencils, erasers and scissors, the kit also includes a wooden teaching clock, plastic cubes for counting and a set of three laminated posters (alphabet, multiplication and number tables). The kit is supplied in a locked aluminium box; the lid can double as a blackboard when coated with the special paint included in the kit. Using a locally developed teaching guide and curriculum, teachers can establish makeshift classrooms almost anywhere.

The football kits contain everything children need to learn more about and play a football game, including: footballs; inflatable pump and repair kit for football; picket with flag; stopwatch; referee’s whistle.

For further information, and photos please contact:
Maya Kurtsikidze, Communications Officer, UNICEF Georgia
Tel: ++ 995) 32- 23 23 88, 25 11 30, Fax: 25 12 36
e-mail: mkurtsikidze@unicef.org, mob: 899 53 30 71




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